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3.5 stars out of 5
While the Rocky Mountains don the cover of Birch Street’s self-titled release, the sound seems more derivative of the South. The Denver-based band’s debut studio LP emanates whiskey blues and country soul, fraught with gritty electric guitar and rolling keys. With undoubtable influence from such artists as The Black Crowes, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band, Birch Street finds their high note in the quick-paced, rough and dirty blues rock (listen to “Ride,” “Mud,” and “Rock and Roll”). That isn’t to say, though, that they aren’t inclined to show us a little bit of their tender side. Jake Langenhorst’s mindful lyrics are just part of the album’s number of piano-driven ballads (check out the vocal range in “Down the Line”). While the grit could have been used just a little more to their advantage, Birch Street’s first studio release is indeed an impressive debut, displaying a great amount of Colorado talent. This is a band that surely explodes on the stage. Be sure to stop by the Moxi Theater on June 4 or Swing Station on June 6.